Greek Salad Skewers with Balsamic Reduction

I absolutely love to entertain.  And small bites and wine is the most frequent way that I do so because it’s casual and often times impromptu.  Have a couple of friends stop by to catch up over a glass of wine and a few apps and everyone is happy, right?  But sometimes it’s hard to fit something healthy like a salad into a get together that is really all about finger foods and then we (and by ‘we’ I do mean ‘me’) end up eating way more cheese then ‘we’ should.  Or bacon wrapped dates stuffed with blue cheese, or spicy sausage dip on crostini or…okay you get the idea.  So I thought it would be a fun challenge to try to find ways to incorporate some favorite salads into easy-to-eat skewers and this is the first one.  

Everyone knows and loves a Caprese salad and probably have had a Caprese skewer with fresh mozzarella, tomato and basil – which I absolutely love.  This is a similar take on that but instead I used all my favorite components of a Greek salad and then crumbled fresh feta over top and made a balsamic reduction to drizzled over and serve on the side.  Serve both!  Make both fresh Caprese and Greek Salad skewers.  Your friends and family will love you for it.  Cheers!

  1. Cut the peppers along the side length wise so that you have 4 pieces, removing the insides and tops.  Lay the flat pieces on a baking sheet lined with parchment, drizzle with olive oil and season with a little salt a pepper.  Broil the peppers about 3 inches from the heat source for 5-6 minutes.  The skins will just start bubble.  You want to just soften the peppers and maybe get a little char on them but you aren’t going to remove the skin so you don’t want to completely blacken them.  Alternately brush with oil and salt and pepper and grill them for a minute or two to soften.  Cool then chop into 1 inch squares.
  2. In a heavy bottomed sauce pan bring the balsamic vinegar to a boil and reduce to a low boil.  The key to a good reduction is a low boil for a longer period of time.  A high boil will potentially burn the vinegar.  Cook until the vinegar is reduced by half and thicker but not completely syrup yet, approximately 15-18 minutes.  Let cool off the heat and the vinegar will turn more into a syrup consistency. (can be done a day or two in advance)
  3. Assemble skewers by threading in any order you like – 1 slice red pepper, 1 tomato, 1 cucumber, 1 olive, 1 red onion, and 1 yellow pepper.  Continue until all the skewers are formed. 
  4. Stack the skewers on a large platter and garnish with micro greens or fresh basil, crumbled feta, and a drizzle of the balsamic reduction.  Serve the remaining feta crumbles and balsamic reduction on the side so friends can help themselves to it once they have served themselves.
1 red bell pepper

1 orange or yellow bell pepper

Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil

¾ cup good quality aged Balsamic Vinegar

1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives

½ pint yellow or red cherry tomatoes

½ English cucumber, skin removed, cut in half lengthwise and insides scooped and cut into ½ inch pieces

½ red onion cut into ¼ inch pieces

1/3 cup Sheep’s milk Feta or favorite feta cheese, crumbled

Micro greens or chopped basil for garnish

Sea Salt and  fresh ground pepper

*14 – thin 9 ¾ inch skewers cut to about 6 inches

Makes approximately 14 skewers

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